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The Soft Machine - Third CD (album) cover


The Soft Machine


Canterbury Scene

4.22 | 932 ratings

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4 stars Fascinating !!

This is music very far from my comfort zone..... or it was before I started to listen to this album. The likes of HENRY COW, SOFT MACHINE, GONG and GILGAMESH feels alien to me. Symphonic prog is my comfort zone. Therefore I am not going to waste your time with a long winded review. Short & genuine is what you will get. Please bear this in mind.

Describing the impossible............. OK, I will give it a try. The opening track Facelift starts slowly, but builds up to a nice piece of avant-garde jazz. Pretty good stuff. The next song Slightly All The Time is perhaps the best song of the album. It weaves it's way through various landscapes. Most of them very scenic and fascinating. This song gives me a lot of food for thought throughout. It also gives me insight into a world I up to now did not know. No, I am not taking any of the drugs I suspect SOFT MACHINE was into when writing this album.

The third song Moon In June is the only vocal song here. I have learned that this is the last ever SOFT MACHINE song featuring vocals. Exit Robert Wyatt, in other words. It is a very good song. Again, it takes some detours and walk sideways to the end. In other words; the essence of this album. The final song Out-Bloody-Rageous is also one of those songs which goes into different territories and landscapes. Some has called this one of SOFT MACHINE's best ever songs. In that case; I am converted to this band and their gospel. What do we call those ? Softmachineheads or just nutters ?

That's Third. Well, I should add something more from a total novice (myself). This is my first SOFT MACHINE album and this review maybe of any use to those who has yet to take the plunge into the wonderful garden of SOFT MACHINE. So I will continue this review.

When I say songs; I really mean pieces of music. Because each song is between eighteen and twenty minutes long. That's not really songs. The main instruments is bass, drums, piano, moog and saxophone. I normally hate saxophones. But in this case; I like them. Elton Dean's saxophone gives this album an edge. It also takes it well into what most people call jazz. Is it a jazz album ? No, I think it is most definate a Canterbury Scene album. The references to other Canterbury Scene bands are there. Maybe because these bands was influenced by this album. The musicianship on this album is also superb and faultless. That's Third.

My conclusion is that this is a highly enjoyable album which works on every level. It is both symphonic enough to captivate the attention of a symphonic prog fan and jazzy enough to captivate the attention of the jazz fans. But most of all; it is a Canterbury Scene album. One of the best I have ever heard from that scene, in fact. I think this album is superb and most definate one I will enjoy as long as I live. Does it deserve it's reputation ? Yes, no doubts. But handle it with care and an open mind. Because this is not easy listening by any means. I actually feel that I have achieved something by listening to this album and understanding (???) it. Yes, this album is an achievement. Both for SOFT MACHINE and the listener. That is why I recommend it.

4 stars

toroddfuglesteg | 4/5 |


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